For some homeowners who have suffered major loss and impacts because of a flood, memories literally come flooding back, underpinning what psychology experts describe as the ‘anniversary effect,’ which many feel should be recognised as an official symptom of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Whilst the ‘anniversary effect’ can apply to many types of traumas and loss scenarios, when it comes to flooding, it is felt by homeowners at around the time of year that they went through their major flooding incident or when weather conditions are similar to how they were back then.
This can be complex and extremely distressing, absorbing body and mind, leading to lack of sleep and causing emotional shutdown. Believing that another flood will occur can become an obsession, particularly if all the weather signs are there to suggest that a similar situation could potentially emerge.
The trauma of a home flood
This, of course, all stems from the fact that having your home flooded is a very traumatic event. Flood waters have been described as a vicious ‘burglar,’ robbing homeowners of peace of mind and the sanctity of their four walls. Numerous studies have found that having your home flooded is a cause of depression, anxiety, and PTSD and that these mental health issues increase according to how deep the flood waters were and how long the whole process took.
Very many of those who have suffered loss through flooding bear testimony to the fact that it is the aftermath of the flood that is more traumatic than the actual arrival of water into the home. The recovery process is far too long and difficult a road to travel for many of those seeking to handle an insurance claim and get their home repaired and put back to normal.
Coping with the flooding ‘anniversary effect’
If this rings true with you and you too suffer the flooding anniversary effect but are also feeling trapped in a home at risk of flooding because its flood history makes the property hard or impossible to sell, there are some things that may help you.
Prepare for your anniversary and have mechanisms in place to cope better than you did the first time around. This could be physical barriers to prevent water ingress, telephone numbers of key contacts kept at hand, a plan of what to do, if necessary. The chances are that you will not need it, but all of this will help you sense that you are more in charge.
Talk to other people about how you are feeling and consult with a doctor if you want some professional help. Try not to fixate on the weather and find things to do that will distract you. Do not continually read reports of floods elsewhere and start to imagine the worst.
Get better flood insurance claim help in place
However, if you were one of those people for whom the recovery period was the worst part of the process, you should seriously consider having a different plan in place, if you feel that another flood could occur. You have the legal right to appoint your own loss assessor for any property damage insurance claim, not just flooding-related insurance claims, and doing that would mean that the burden of handling all the negotiations and wrangling passes to them. Having that weight off your shoulders, plus the mental health benefit of having someone on your side in your claim, every step of the way, could be a godsend for you.
Your loss assessor will negotiate directly with your insurer to gain the settlement you are entitled to from your insurance policy.
Similarly, by appointing your own Aspray loss assessor, you would never again have to be left hanging on the telephone waiting to speak to your insurer’s claims department, or trying to go head-to-head with the insurer’s representative, the loss adjuster. The hassles are for your loss assessor to deal with.
Get back to how you were quicker
Furthermore, if you appoint Aspray, you will have all the repairs and restoration process handled for you, using Aspray’s vetted contractors. No more having to find tradespeople or worrying whether they have a good level of workmanship or can be trusted.
The other benefit of having all this professional help is one of time. Aspray does all it can to make the claims process as quick and swift as possible. It’s loss assessors have a right first-time approach, highlighting to the insurer’s loss adjuster what needs to be done to repair not just visible but hidden damage too.
Reduce your flood repair stress levels
Aspray also understands the importance of reducing the stress levels of owners forced out of their home by flooding. It strives to get the best alternative solutions for those who cannot inhabit their home for some time. We do not wish to see our clients forced into sub-standard accommodation or arrangements that impinge on their lives, children’s education, or other such things, if that is not necessary and the insurance policy should offer more.
With professional expertise in claims handling on board and a team of tradespeople who can get cracking on repairs as soon as that becomes possible, our clients can see progress and light at the end of the tunnel sooner. Furthermore, those who instruct Aspray’s team to carry out the repair work, find there is no charge for any of the claims handling service or the repairs and restoration work either, however, any excess stated within the policy is still payable by the policyholder.
The merits of a better flood plan
As a flood plan goes, it’s a very positive and mood-raising one to have, as hundreds of Aspray customer testimonials from homeowners and commercial property owners who have suffered flooding show. It’s well worth keeping the Aspray number at hand, just in case you ever need it.
So, if you do suffer from the anniversary effect, there are things you can do, to try to combat it, with better preparation being one key ‘survival’ strategy. Don’t let your experience of a flood at your home define who you are and, should your worst fears be realised, don’t go it alone again. There is no need to do so when a call to 0800 077 6705 will be your flooding game-changer.